The Transportation Security Administration is considering additional security measures for airport and airline employees, federal officials have said.
The announcement from the Department of Homeland Security came weeks after five people were arrested in a gun-smuggling operation involving passenger jets traveling between Atlanta and New York City. One of those arrested was a Delta baggage handler and ramp agent who worked at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
Additional security measures could include enhanced airline-employee screenings, random security checks and additional TSA and law enforcement patrols in secure areas, officials said in a statement. The Aviation Security Advisory Committee has also been asked to review the security of airports nationwide to identify all potential ways the Department of Homeland Security can address airport security vulnerabilities. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, praised the department’s announcement, which came a day after he called for the TSA to require daily screenings of airport and airline employees.
“When it is as easy to carry guns, explosives and drugs onto an airplane as a neck pillow, it’s high time to overhaul how airports are required to screen employees with access to secure areas of an airport,” Schumer said in a statement. Robert Mann, a New York-based airline-industry analyst and consultant, said additional security measures are necessary.